Assumption

Frogs and toads gather
upon the onyx highway,
squatting in oily rainfall
with their heads raised skyward
and their eyes bulging wide with
unblinking expectation,
like kneeling believers
beseeching their
God
in ardent prayer.
They are a
Heaven’s Gate flock,
a
suicide cult
awaiting the Assumption
to come with
brightening haloes—
amphibious souls
caught between two worlds
and
awaiting the rending
radiance
of swiftly approaching
headlights
from out of unheeding darkness
into unheeding darkness,
an elusive scrawl of
meaninglessness
strewn
messily
along
the
way.

Spiritual Dysphoria

It was not unlike the prognosis of
body integrity identity disorder,
but I had to cut it off,
despite having invested so much of
myself
into growing that misplaced limb of
belief,
faith,
religion;
dogma being a limb grown hitherto
from within the womb.
But I had to remove it
before its
eschatological appendicitis.
And I understand why many people react
violently
to losing their religion,
just as they would losing a
leg
or arm
or even their head,
because it is an attack on the self,
a psychosomatic assault
which is registered as such in the
brain’s errant cauldron of
miswired nerves and biochemistry;
but I had to cut it off
after spending many years
in the frigid frostbite realms of Reason,
cauterizing the rotten wound with
merciless progress.
It was, after all, a
liability soon replaced
by a more efficient prosthetic.
Even so,
there are times when,
in the shadow of fight or flight circumstances,
I feel the irrational itch
of my
phantom limb
and wish to encode myself fully
into modernity’s machines,
finally liberating myself,
if only temporarily,
from superstition’s angsty, tingling
codex of nerves.
What is this errant sensation I feel
in the dark, fearful hours of life?
It is merely a nagging pop-up error
in my cerebral matrix
for hardwired software
long ago deleted.

Abraham’s Paradise Paradox

They thus beat stained, sinful swords
unto penitent plowshares,
wanting to live in peaceful accords
and promising in prayers
to share the bounty of their Lord
with kin and friend and neighbor
as milk-and-honey freely poured
as blood from a saber
so long as plow cut not too deep
the lands they sought to sow
that golden crop they wished to reap
to expose the bones below.
But however they tried to plant a grain
in the Promised Land’s womb
they harvested only the crop of Cain—
a crimson, bleeding bloom.

Sotie

In the center of the stage the silence broke
and thereupon the Devil, grinning, spoke:
“Lift your donkey-eared sire higher
and pile the crosses upon the pyre—
it is the Feast of Fools, the decadence
when insanity makes the most sense.
Too many plagues, too many prayers,
too many imbalances while God errs.
Cast the dice and dance a jig,
slit the throat of both pope and pig.
It is not heathenism, but Order—
atonement for chaos on the border
between right and wrong, sins and morals;
a contrast of curses and of chorales.
What good is that grave marked Tomorrow?
All that matters now is to drown the sorrow.
For we dance and make merry, knowing life
is but a baby dropped by a bumbling midwife.
So, if the world is nothing but stout sadness,
let us go to the drunken refuge of madness,
stubborn as a donkey in his destitution
and no crazier than a priest steeped in delusion.
See the father who lost to bleeding boils
the children he loved, his wife, the spoils
of a pious life now martyred to idiotic chance,
and so he joins his feet to a heathen dance.
See this small boy, prematurely grown a man
after his family died, leaving this orphan
at a young age and beset with the sores
that took them—give unto him wine and whores
and let him live while he may, today, anon,
for tomorrow will never come, like Canaan,
where the Promised Land’s happy shore
is lapped with blood, and nothing more,
for our lives are meted in thrifty measure
with much of pain and so little of pleasure.
And, so, this beldam—with her back broken
from years of fruitless toil—let her soak in
Dionysian necatar, easing the aches of her limbs
and the hurtful memories whose barbed stems
entwine her heart to prick and bleed—
let drink be her balm, barrels equal to need.
And let the nuns and monks leave their cloisters
and converge in congress, seeding pearls upon oysters,
for the End comes today, and tomorrow comes never
while Death sharpens his sickle blade to swing and sever
every life, ready as a seed ripened full to bloom
while planted in this filthy, diseased mass tomb.
So dance, while you can, and exhaust yourself well,
because Sleep will come, at the end of your tale,
and the earth will continue to orbit a ball of light
while adrift in a void of indifferent Eternal Night.”
Erasmus appeared onstage, where all could see him,
shrugging as he agreed: “Ad libitum—carpe diem.”

God-Gazer

He was a theist obsessed with knowing whether God did exist,
toiling away in his tottering telescope tower
and gazing into cosmic mysteries, nebular mist—
from stars to microbes, studying hour after hour.

He could measure a planet’s circumference within an inch
using quantum math as a wizard weaves a magic spell
and diagramed the cogs, tightening with an electron wrench
the algorithms of existence, programming them without fail.

And he did such devilry because his beloved wife had died
from the frailty inborn into mortal things,
so he looked to disprove what he had always denied
and then unburden his grievances to the King of kings.

His tower had been built upon the crypt of his wife,
stacked brick by brick toward the vast-vaulted sky,
like a cyclopean cairn, a monument to their former life
and to his God, toward which he turned his lens-powered eye.

He gazed into the telescope, across billions of light-years,
calculating all that was and all that was past,
and, in so doing, finally penetrated the ancient spheres,
coming face to face with his God at long last.

It was a void of life, above being as it was below,
and the empty gulfs were as inert, silent, and still
as the buried body of his wife, whereby he had come to know
the loneliness of the depths, of the universe, and all anyone ever will.

The Seven Plagues Of Eden

He told Adam all was his, that all
served him and his,
that the angels made more perfectly in his image
as if woven from mirrored glass and glance
were inferior in every way,
and like his Lord, Adam, too, was possessed of a mind of
pride,
taken with his own place among the cosmos.
So strange, then, that God did not see
the difficulty of two monarchs occupying the same throne.
As if to distract from such a
constitutional crisis,
God made for Adam a wife, named Lilith,
whose sex would be a seat for the scepter
of Man.
Adam looked upon Lilith
and longed for her, seeking to
ordain himself with her
endless maidenhood.
But Lilith, being more beautiful than Lucifer,
and more resentful of Adam than any fallen angel,
thought how vain Adam was in his presumptions
and sought to make a throne of him instead
whereby she could rule over Eden, mounting
a coup
by mounting
his cock.
God saw Lilith grinding upon the throne
she had made of Adam
and saw Adam indolent beneath the pleasures
that outshone even those of Eden.
God, being a jealous god,
chaffed at this congress,
and Adam,
being made in God’s image,
sought not but food and fornication,
the vices of his make
being to breed
children upon the earth,
much like his God.
Yet,
Lilith was begotten of no children,
her womb being barren, for Adam’s
lazy sperm
embodied his traits accordingly.
God banished Lilith from Eden.
Adam, with nothing to occupy himself,
fell to sleep from ever greater indolence,
dreaming of the Queen that had been
taken from him,
whereupon God fashioned from his rib
a wife to compel him beyond
dreaming; a wife to
seduce him to the waking world.
Her name was Eve
and Adam, looking upon her, saw himself,
the only thing he loved more than Lilith,
and so he immediately took upon her
himself, his
lust,
begetting upon her his seed
so as to multiply himself, to populate the world
with what he loved most; to surround himself
with daughter-sister-wives upon which
to rut and satisfy his endless self-love.
Yet Eve was discontent
for she looked to Lilith
riding the errant winds
and whose demon children were born
in the dreams of Man,
and found her comely after so many births
whereas her own rib-born body
was disfigured, twisted with the
expulsion of fruits.
Envy
befell Eve
as she gazed upon the first wife of Adam
and her immaculate limbs; Lilith
who seduced every man,
from peasant to Pope,
and never had writ of wear scarred into her
belly or breasts.
And, in the midst of this
moral crisis
the snake came, hungering in
greed
for all of Eden; looking to keep it all
for himself, or herself, or Himself,
overcome with an inborn
gluttony.
While Adam was entranced with his many
daughter-sister-wives,
the snake called to Eve
and told her to look at the Tree of Knowledge
and observe the Forbidden Fruit.
“Does it not seem a delicious temptation?”
the snake asked.
“Eat of it, for God hath given all in this Garden
for His children, nor know you
the difference between Right and Wrong, having been made
in God’s image.”
Eve, thinking she was doing good upon Eden—
or perhaps wanting freedom from that paradisaical
prison
wherein she was just another plaything
for the endless hours of Adam’s idle indulgence—
took the fruit down and partook of it.
Gaining knowledge, she also gained sympathy
and realized that Adam was not to blame
for the way he was made,
nor God, and so,
seeking to free all from one another,
she gave unto Adam the Fruit of Knowledge.
Wrath
was immediate, for God so hated
anyone to know His mind, to realize His
own vices of pettiness and resentment and
cosmic loneliness
and so He cast out Adam and Eve, so taken with hatred
for Eve
that He decreed, forthwith, the Fall was her fault
and that wherever Man and Woman went
seeking to make an Eden
the same deadly sins would unravel it,
for they carried in their hearts
what would make and destroy their happiness,
much like God Himself,
whose deadly sins
made and destroyed Eden
and the happiness He tried to make
for Himself.

Witching Hour Haikus

Her words were written
upon hearts as on tombstones;
cold, hard, deep, final.

“Teach a man to fish”
they say, as if they don’t own
every river.

Streets cobbled with skulls
and anthems of unheard screams—
parade of empire.

He clung to belief
as if a shipwreck’s flotsam,
but t’was the iceberg.

They all vowed she was
the salt of the earth, and so
she salted the earth.

Firstborn of Egypt,
did not you die innocent
as God’s other Son?